Manga Challenge

This past school year, one of my students requested that we get more manga for our library. Our graphic novel section has a few manga titles, such as Maximum Ride, Ultra  Maniac, +Anima and Warriors. I’ll admit manga is one one of my reading gaps. I enjoy graphic novels, but haven’t read much manga. I try to read any titles that come with my school’s book fairs as I want to know what those are like before my students go through the fair, but that’s about it.

Since our conversation that day, I have started reading more manga titles to find some series that will work as new additions to the library. The public library and a local Scholastic warehouse sale have been very helpful in this. Here are some of the titles I’ve explored so far:

  • Laddertop by Orson Scott Card – Science fiction story where children are recruited to attend Laddertop Academy to learn the skills necessary to attend to maintenance on the Laddertop stations that ascend high above the planet. The ladders and the stations are the result of alien technologies that were gifted 25 years earlier. This read like an early young adult title.
  • Ninja Baseball Kyuma by Shunshin Maeda – A youth baseball team is in desperate need of another player. The captain finds a candidate up on a mountain, someone the captain thinks is playing at being a ninja. Little does he know that Kyuma is the last member of his ninja clan. This is an all ages title.
  • Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama – Life takes an unexpected twist in this title when the main character, who views himself as an excellent detective in the path of Sherlock Holmes, finds himself transformed into the form of a primary student. The crimes tend toward the macabre. A young adult title that I need to read book two of before making my mind up. This one was recommended by a student.
  • Hikaru no Go by Yumi Hotta – Go is a traditional Chinese game. After Hikaru finds an old Go board in his grandfather’s attick, he finds himself joined by the ghost of Fujiara-no-Sai, who taught the Emperor of Japan to play Go centuries earlier. This was more of an every ages title.

Manga editions of popular teen series are also somewhat common. Of these, I have read Clockword Angel by Hyekung Baek and the first Maximum Ride title adapted by Narae Lee.

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